NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Family members of slain Slidell mother of two, Julia Dardar, have scheduled a rally and press conference for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. on the steps of New Orleans City Hall to demand that accused killer Benjamin Beale, a.k.a. Kelley Kirkpatrick, be held without bail.
Beale was arrested on Tuesday, Jan. 11, and then booked three days later for the second-degree murder of Dardar, whose dismembered body was found stuffed inside a freezer located in a bus parked at his home on 2327 Pauline Street.
On Saturday, Beale’s bail was increased from $400,000 to $1.4 million due to the grisly nature of the crime once an autopsy revealed that the 36-year-old Dardar had been both beaten and strangled prior to dismemberment.
Beale, who was also booked on multiple drugs, firearms and obstruction of justice charges, is currently incarcerated in the Orleans Parish Justice Center and faces a life sentence if convicted of Dardar’s death.
The victim’s estranged husband and father of her two teenage daughters also set up a ‘Justice for Julia’ GoFundMe page on Monday in an effort to assist with funeral expenses and other costs associated with supporting their children in a single-parent household.
Micah Dardar posted the following statement on the fundraiser’s page:
In December of 2021, Julia Dardar was brutally murdered by a man in New Orleans. She was beaten and strangled to death. He then proceeded to dismember her body with a saw and store it in a freezer in a school bus on his property and proceed with his life like he didn’t care a bit. Julia leaves behind two teenage daughters,13 and 17, that will never get to see their mom again and will have to live with the scar and void in their lives because of this horrendous act of senseless evil and violence. I now have to raise these two girls on my own as a single father with the help of my parents, who are luckily still married and reasonably healthy.
I have set up this GoFundMe to help us with funeral expenses and other immediate expenses involved in navigating this terrible tragedy. Excess funds will be used to help the kids live a comfortable life and provide them with opportunities and distractions to move beyond this trauma, and to assure that Julia’s murderer(s) is/are brought to justice to the fullest extent of the law.
Julia made a positive impact in the lives of so many, and she was always willing to go out of her way to help others. We met in 2002 working at a restaurant together while I was attending college in New Mexico. We moved back to my home state of Louisiana and married in 2003. Our first daughter was born in 2004. We lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for a couple years in the Katrina era while I finished college at William Carey University, and were back in New Orleans by the time our second daughter was born in 2008. Julia fell in love with the culture and vibrancy of New Orleans and definitely became a local. We spent some time between 2015-2019 living in Texas and North Carolina, but we returned home to Louisiana in 2019. We were very briefly happy to be home before stress from the pandemic took a toll on us, as it did with so many. Unfortunately, the stress led her down a dangerous path that ended tragically.
Please help in remembering Julia Dardar for the many kind acts and good deeds she did for so many, and for the love she had for and shared with so many.Micah Dardar
Micah Dardar and others will speak at the ‘Justice 4 Julia & Safety 4 All’ rally and press conference to plead for Beale to be held without bail and “zero bond” until his trial.
“Join us tomorrow on the steps of City Hall to demand Benjamin Beale aka Kelley Kirkpatrick be held without bail, on ZERO BOND.,” began the Facebook post rally invite. “We have learned that Beale has retained two of the top defense attornies in the state of LA. They have scheduled a hearing with the judge on Wed 1/19 where they are pressing for Beal’s bail to be lowered, ushering the way for his release.”